Trump Meets with NRA, Walks Back Bizarre Statements

Trump Meets with NRA, Walks Back Bizarre Statements March 2, 2018

After bizarrely saying that he wanted law enforcement to “take the guns first, go through due process second” during a televised meeting with members of Congress on Wednesday, anyone could have predicted that he would back down. He did so after having dinner with NRA officials on Thursday.

The top lobbyist for the National Rifle Association claimed late Thursday that President Trump had retreated from his surprising support a day earlier for gun control measures after a meeting with N.R.A. officials and Vice President Mike Pence in the Oval Office.

The lobbyist, Chris Cox, posted on Twitter just after 9 p.m. that he met with Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence, saying that “we all want safe schools, mental health reform and to keep guns away from dangerous people. POTUS & VPOTUS support the Second Amendment, support strong due process and don’t want gun control. #NRA #MAGA.”

Mr. Trump tweeted about an hour later, “Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!”

It’s almost identical to what happened when he held a similar public meeting with legislators on immigration, during which he said that he would sign a standalone bill to codify DACA and let the DREAMers stay. He backed down quickly and went in the exact opposite direction. In both cases, what he said was the opposite of the administration’s negotiating position and ideological stance and his aides and the Republican legislators were stunned when he said them.

But this is what Trump does. He just babbles, saying anything that pops into his head at any given moment without a thought to whether it’s true, whether he believes it, whether he’ll actually follow through on it, whether it contradicts what he said before, or whether it’s smart as a matter of political strategy. Just babble, tell people whatever he thinks they want to hear at the moment and then deal with the fallout later. And blame everyone else for it, of course. Because it’s never, ever his fault. No wonder he can’t keep his communications people in their jobs. Who would want to deal with that every day?

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